Family-owned Monrovia (monrovia.com) looks for new varieties that are healthier, hardier, more pest resistant and more floriferous. They have pioneered new technologies and new plant introductions, offering many exclusively through independent garden centers across the country. New varieties in 2011:
Camellia sasanqua Pink Yuletide (‘MonDel’)
This lovely sport from the extremely popular Red Yuletide camellia is fragrant! This moderate grower will reach 8 to 10 feet tall and wide. A midseason bloomer, ‘Pink Yuletide’ prefers filtered sun and regular watering—weekly or more often in extreme heat. Zones 7–10.
Caryopteris x clandonensis Blue Balloon
The growth habit of this fantastic new bluebeard is very spherical; it looks like a blue balloon when it’s in full bloom. The leaves, which are dark green with silvery hairs beneath, emit a spicy fragrance. This deciduous broadleaf shrub prefers fertile, well-drained soil and full sun. Zones 6–9.
Holboellia latifolia ‘Ritak’
Clusters of purple-lavender, cinnamon-scented flowers appear from late March to May on ‘Ritak’ sausage vine. They’re often followed by large, fleshy lavender-pink fruit. Evergreen vine with stems to 25 feet. Prefers partial to full shade. Zones 6–10.
Punica granatum Angel Red (‘Smith’)
Angel Red is a new pomegranate variety with unique characteristics. The bright red fruit ripens earlier than other varieties and the tree bears heavily. The uniform fruit contains more antioxidant juice than any other variety. Reaches 15 to 18 feet tall. Full sun. Requires 200 chilling hours. Zones 7–11.
Vaccinium corymbosum Bountiful Blue (‘FLX – 2’)
Bountiful Blue blueberry offers a heavy set of large, super sweet berries and the bluest summer foliage on any blueberry the people at Monrovia have ever seen, making it a standout in the landscape or in a container. This semidwarf moderate grower will reach 3 to 4 feet tall and wide. Prefers full sun and acidic soil. Zones 6–10.